The Sausage Factory Rant IV

Let me show you the entrails of the industry, let me lead you into the belly of the beast. Let me show you how this shit works.

The Print Media is a complicated and involving thing with many facets and intricacies and cogs and bits. These work together in unity to find truth wherever it is hiding, process it into convenient and coherent and socially responsible forms and then they present these to you for consumption. The print media reminds you of the game meat catering industry, doesn’t it? They hunt down warthogs, we hunt down truth. They slaughter and skin and eviscerate buffalo. We do the same to information. They cook and present you with burgers. As do we.

 

Of course there are dangers involved in both the game and the press. You cannot be too careful or cavalier with what you present to the public—you need a conscience. In the print media this purpose is served by officers called “gatekeepers”.

Are you a student of Mass Communication in a university? If you are, this is the lecture you slept through.

Gatekeepers are the people who decide what goes into the paper and what doesn’t. There is a series of them. There is the writer, who first decides not to put the colour of Bebe Cool’s peeping boxers into his report about how disheveled the singer looked when he staggered out of court. Then there is the editor who decides that we don’t even need to know that the singer staggered: just say he was in court one minute and the next he was out. There are others—Lawyers, the CEO, the marketing policy people, the government of the Republic of Uganda etc.

Now add to this miasma of micromanagement and mixed roles the subeditor.

I have spoken of this creature before. In fact, when I go back to that post I find that I used the same intro. Coincidences make you haha.

In that post, however, I was understanding and levelheaded and objective. This time, I am more in the mood to throw shit and break stuff. Subeditors do many things in the New Vision. One of the things they do is snatch your babies out of their sweet perfect slumber, scream an obscenity into their faces, and when the little one opens his terrified mouth to scream, they funnel bricks of crack cocaine down his throats, then they slap him around with muddy bata gumboots, smear him down in sewage from, of all places, Makerere-Kikoni and then send him off for public view as your child. Look! It’s Bazanye’s child! Bazanye made this, look!

The benefit of my vast experience in this company is agility and the skill to dodge the evil plans of such—Subeditors rarely, if ever, manage to catch any of my babies to molest, because I make them fast and fleet of foot. They are like little lemurs. Easy to see, hard to catch.

But sometimes… sometimes… sometimes your guard is down and … your article comes out and what you had clearly and conscientiously written as “Don’t” comes out as “do not”. It is enough to make one rant on ones blog.